Once again fears around a new Covid variant are causing cancellations and postponements in the world of university sports.
With a new Covid variant spreading across the globe, many international events are once again postponed or cancelled. University sports are affected by the new Covid variant – with the international events Canadian athletes scheduled to attend off of the schedule for the foreseeable future.
What has been Affected so Far?
The majority of university sports affected are on the international stage. Events such as the Winter Universiade 2021 and the World University Games have been cancelled due to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.
For many Canadian university athletes, the loss of these events is a crushing disappointment. For many student-athletes, this is their only chance to represent Canada on the international stage. Many likely trained for years for the opportunity, which is cancelled – and for some events cancelled again.
For Many Events, this is the Second Year of Cancellations
Some of these events – such as the World University Games were essentially postponed. The original plans were to hold the event in January – but the committee decided to postpone the event to December 2021. Now, the entire 2021 version of the winter games is cancelled and the next running is not until 2023 in Lake Placid, New York.
The Summer World University befall the same fate – with the 2020 Games postponed until 2022. For the majority of university athletes (outside of the rare few who make the Olympics) of the last three years, the chance to represent Canada is likely over.
Domestic Sports Remain Strong – but Uncertainty Always Lingers
The general issues facing university and college sports revolve around international travel – not domestic travel. There are no plans to postpone or cancel any NCAA Bowl games this December and January – although a few players could opt-out (and some already have to prepare for the 2022 NFL Draft).
Overall, though it should be an exciting 42 bowl games – with 2021 NCAA Bowl odds on the Semi-Finals open for betting.
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The same is going on in NCAA Basketball. The sport is doing a better job than last year keeping its player safe and avoiding rescheduling games. Of course, it is early in the NCAA Basketball season and no one is too invested (outside of the diehards in Canada) until the best 2022 NCAA Basketball betting odds and brackets start popping up on March Madness.
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It is the same for U Sports in Canada. There is a full slate of games scheduled in 2022 (basketball, hockey, and volleyball) with no plans to cancel or make adjustments. Of course, everything is subject to individual provincial rules in Canada – so you can never say anything is a certainty.
What is Next for University Athletes in Canada?
Canadian university athletes are heading into exams and the winter break – with only a few returning in late December for basketball. While most will focus on exams, holiday festivities, and training – the ones looking forward to international competition are left in a void.
Likely nothing will replace these international events. You could look at it positively and say athletes now have more time to focus on their academics.
Some athletes will focus on the 2022 Winter Olympics. While the Canadian government – along with other Western countries – are a part of a diplomatic boycott of the games – every country is still supporting their athletes and their decision to attend the Games.
The Olympics also have much more power and money than university sporting events. They can create bubbles for the athletics – as they did in Tokyo – and spend the necessary money to keep the event running.
Canadian athletes are also accustomed to protocols – as Canada is home to some of the strictest protocol and testing requirements in the world. Everyone else not attending will stay at home and get a chance to watch the events and cheer on their friends and country.
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